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Big decision, need input!


fishuhalik

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I've been working in the oil fields all year and was really looking forward to this fall. Every day I drive to a different site, which means I get to scout new areas all the time. Duck populations are incredible with tons of pins cans redheads and mallards, my waterfowl grand slam.

The decision I have to make is what 2 weeks to hunt. Because of a technicality I can't get residency in NoDak since I have a permanent residence with my wife and kids living in mn. Apparently the $20k I've paid in taxes in the last 6 months isn't enough of a contribution to allow me to hunt on the rare occasion I get an afternoon off.. Oh well.

Anyways, considering the species I'm chasing what 2 weeks would you pick? This is the only chance I'm ever gonna get to hunt all fall in NoDak and I wanna take full advantage of it!!!

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Hunt the week of the 20th thats when we typically are out and the skies have been full of most all the birds your after.

Another thing you could do is split that time up to two different weeks more chance for early and late season hunting that way.

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I agree with Gordie-

Looking at the calendar, I've got the weekend of Sept. 29th penciled in as well as mid to late Oct. I typically do split up the two 7 day periods. There are A LOT of local ducks and geese around right now, then there is that lull when the locals get shot up,leave and the migration hasn't started to push yet. Towards the end of Oct. is usually a safe date to insure a good push of birds as long as open water is available.

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With the hot dry weather we've had in NW MN, we won't see much for ducks come our way at all this year. I'd say late October thru early Nov will be awesome all thru the Dakotas...wherever there's water.

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Dude, if you have time, wait until later in the season. Sure you could hunt NR opener, but why burn a weekend to kill a bunch of brown ducks? My go-to every year is Halloween weekend. Can't go wrong with mid to late October. Otherwise, check the weather and wait for a solid cold front to push some birds through. If you've only got two weeks, wait for some colored up drakes to fly in. If you just want to shoot ducks, hunt the NR opener like everyone else does. Lots of teal and spoonies to be had wink

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Picking and choosing is always the name of the game for NR opener but you can find some half way decent color...Here's a picture from last year's NR hunt.

full-40309-24343-pic3.jpg

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If things haven't changed in licensing procedure (i.e. you can change your selected weeks & buy a second license), I'd pick early weeks and watch the birds - you'll be there anyway. Then you could either change your weeks for a small fee, or you could hunt the first two weeks and buy another license (assuming based on the taxes that you've paid out there, the hundred bucks for a license is not a big burden on your life).

Please note, I haven't waterfowl hunted out there in years, just hunted upland birds and big game annually, so I may be off on my understanding of the current waterfowl regs.

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Well yeah, you have to pick and choose early season, but my point is it's a lot easier (and in my opinion more fun) if you wait a few weeks for birds to "green up."

My best hunt of the entire season last year was Halloween weekend. Hit the migration perfect (for once) and reaped the rewards. Of course, that close to deer opener and you have to deal with a lot more posted land, and a lot more unanswered doors, but the bit of extra tire rubber goes a long way when you pile up mature drakes. Plus, no pinfeathers! Those are some mighty fine plucking ducks, if you have the mind to.

I like InTheNorthWoods advice: Use one week to hunt the NR opener (heck, why not? Scratch that itch). Then use the other weekend later in the fall. Shoot sharpies and pheasants in between. Should have a full freezer when all is said and done wink

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If I had to pick it would be any week after the 20 th of October as Tyler put it the color is much easier to define at that time of year.

I was also told by an old friend of mine that has since passed away that the week of Halloween is probably the best time to be in the Devils Lake area because not only are the duck plentiful the really big walleyed are next to the shore lines ready to bite on your hook.

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No Vex. It can be done. You really have to watch the weather though. I spent years trying to nail the big push on the head, but too many times, inevitably was off by one week, one way or the other.

Tyler is absolutely right with waiting till late season, but it can be a roll of the dice. Waiting on the last big flight I've seen sloughs freeze up completely overnight, and everything blow thru out of Canada way too fast, leaving us with a few days to hunt, and nothing in the air. On the other hand, I've had mornings in November when we couldn't shoot the big northern curly-tails out of the corn stubble. They just keep pouring into the fields in waves of hundreds, and even THOUSANDS!

Being there at the right time is everything. Watch the weather like a hawk, everyday. And it really helps to have someone out there relaying info back to you on a daily basis...if possible.

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Hows the Nov.9th- 11th weekend? That opening of deer out there, is it to crazy to duck hunt during?

Heck no.

Thats what I used to do in Minnesota and it was by far the best hunting of the year for me.

Worst part could be finding open water other than big water as it could be froze up a bit by then.I've seen that happen hear many times.

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Thanks for the info guys! Waiting til later is no problem. I'm real comfortable hunting big water and sakakawea is 15 miles away. Shoot, dl is only 4 hrs. I may have to take that first week too, I got an itch that really needs scratching!!!

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Hows the Nov.9th- 11th weekend? That opening of deer out there, is it to crazy to duck hunt during?

Unless I was hunting big water where I was safe from deer hunters I would avoid it. No way in heck would I field hunt that weekend. Too many people are tempted to take a potshot at the "geese" sitting in the field.

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